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Forty-nine and Still Dancing

Some people are funny about their age. I can understand your Hollywood-types being mysterious about their ages. But I am as far away from Hollywood in my personality, my values, and so on as you can get.
A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 49th birthday. It feels like a hallmark to me of a sort. So I thought I’d start blogging about being 49. I’m actually heading into my fiftieth year.
Do I have regrets? Hell, yes.
Would I do some things differently? Absolutely.
But mostly I’m happy to be here in this space and time and I’m extremely grateful to be writing fiction these days. After all this time, I think I’ve found the place in my work that feeds my spirit. Funny that it’s not poetry, which is what I would have said it would be had I been asked twenty years ago.
One of the best things about life is that you never know what’s going to happen next. I think it’s great to have expectations and goals—but being flexible might be just as important.
At one point in my life, I wanted to be a dancer. I was a serious ballet student and danced into college. But back then, being so short was holding me back. (It’s not quite like that anymore.) All through my dancing years, though, I wrote. I had already written my first novel in high school, even as I was choreographing the senior tribute to A Chorus Line. I’m a storyteller—whether it’s through dance or words—it is a compulsion in me.
Also, my compulsion extends to patterns—patterns in dance choreography, in poetry, in fiction, in quilting and scrapbooking. Do you see the links?
Unlike dance, which in order to really master you have to be a performer, writing has allowed me to explore and reach beyond what I thought my limits were mostly in private and through classroom and online classes and workshops. (So being short has never been a problem. Heh.) I am still learning, of course. I hope that I will never reach a point where I say there’s nothing more to learn about writing.
But you know what? I’m also still dancing. Zumba, three times a week and everyday at home every time something I like comes on the radio or stereo. The women I Zumba with? Most of them are a good bit older than me and they are still moving. At 49, I hope that when I’m 59, 69, and even 79, I’ll be in the gym shaking my thang.

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